Introduction of personal lifesaving equipment

Feb 9, 2018

DX marine Production Department-Lifesaving

 Personal lifesaving equipment plays an important role in the life of rescuers. In recent years, with the globalization and frequent detection of PSC, the requirements for ships and crew are more and more strict. At the same time, the contents of international conventions are constantly upgrading and improving.

The international life-saving equipment rules (LSA rules) divide personal lifesaving devices into five categories, namely life buoy, life jacket, immersion suits, anti exposure suits and thermal protective aids. The basic uses of  immersion suits, anti exposure suits and thermal protective aids are to reduce the loss of body heat in the water, but what are the differences between the three in function, configuration and use? Let's understand it together today.

Odoo CMS - a big picture

 1. Definition:

According to the third clause of chapter III of the SOLAS convention, the relevant definitions are as follows:

Anti-exposure suit: refers to the designed protection for crew rescue boats and marine evacuation systems use service.

Immersion suit: refers to the protective clothing that reduces the heat loss of the body in the cold water.

Thermal protective aid: is a bag or clothing made of waterproof material with low thermal conductivity.

2. Comparison of technical performance requirements of personal life saving equipment

It can be seen from the pictures that the thermal protective aid  is made of waterproof material with low thermal conductivity relative to Immersion suit and Anti-exposure suits. It is easy to wear and take off. It is usually used only for the lifeboat crew, and the heat preservation effect of the personnel is poor after falling water. The technical performance of Immersion suit and Anti-exposure suit  is mostly the same, but there are also some differences.

1, Immersion suit have to exclude or reduce the free air facilities in the lifesaving pants, and never have too much water to enter suits without less than 4.5m height; and the anti exposure suit does not have this function. In addition, we can see that the insulation effect of Immersion suit is better than that of anti exposure clothing, which can provide more protection for crew.

2, wearing anti exposure suit can swimming 25m while wearing a Immersion suit only for short distance swimming. Anti exposure suit  provides at least 70N inherent buoyancy. Making materials can reduce the risk of thermal stress in rescue and evacuation and is equipped with 1 pocket VHF phones with at least 120 degrees of lateral vision, while immersion suits do not have the functions mentioned above. It can be seen that the anti exposure suit are more focused on the salvage and evacuation of the sea. These functions provide a guarantee for the rescue boat crew and the evacuating personnel at sea to carry out the rescue.

3. Personal lifesaving equipment, identification and storage


Section III of SOLAS convention, article seventh, section third (applicable to passenger ships and cargo ships) shall be equipped with 1 fitting immersion suits or anti exposure suits for each person designated as the salvage crew or the crew of the marine evacuation system, respectively, which are fitted to the requirements of the international life saving equipment rules (hereinafter referred to as "rules"). If the ship has been sailing in the warm climate area that the authorities do not think is necessary for thermal protection, it is not necessary to provide this protective clothing.

Anti exposure suit usually in a passenger ship, and immersion suits can be used to replace anti exposure suit jackets.

 SOLAS Convention III, 24, 4, additional requirements for passenger ships.

Every lifeboat on all passenger ships should be equipped with at least 3 immersion suits that meet the requirements of the rules. In addition, each of the lifeboats not equipped with immersion suits should be equipped with the thermal protective aids that meets the requirements of the rules. Under the following circumstances, it is not necessary to equip these immersion suits  and thermal protective aids .

1) persons in fully enclosed or partially closed lifeboats.

2) if a ship has been sailing in a warm climate area, the competent authorities believe that the insulation equipment is unnecessary.

At present, the lifeboats provided on the ship are mostly closed or partially closed lifeboats, and there is no need to provide immersion suits and thermal protective aids for lifeboats. If the ship is equipped with an open lifeboat, the attention should be paid to the allocation of immersion suits and thermal protective aids.

SOLAS Convention III, 32, 3, additional requirements for cargo ships.

1) we should provide everyone with the size fits the rules of immersion suits. However, for ships other than the bulk carrier defined in article IX/1, if the ship has been sailing in a warm climate, it is not necessary to require the immersion suits if the competent authorities believe that the immersion suits are not necessary.

2) if the ship has a duty room or workstation far away from a immersion suits, the number of people on duty or work in these places at any time, usually at these locations, shall include the suitable size of rescue clothes attached to the lifeboat raft in the remote position, as contained in article 31.1.4.

3) the placement of immersion suits should be available at any time, and its location should be clearly marked.

4) we can use the immersion suits required in this article to meet the requirements of clause 7.3.

It should be noted that, for the bulk carrier defined in article IX/1, whether or not the ship has been sailing in a warm climate, every person on board should be provided with a suitable immersion suits with a suitable size and rules. At the same time, the cargo ship at the nearest end of the 1 lifeboat rafts from the most end to the end of the bow and the closest to the most close shall be concerned with the condition of the lifeboat and life raft at the remote position.

2, identification and storage

1) the three equipment should be placed in a special cabinet where it is easy to reach and take place, and the IMO sign is posted in the vicinity, and the number is in accordance with the number listed on the record book of the equipment safety certificate.

2) immersion suits, Anti-exposure suit should be printed in Chinese and English (Pinyin) ship name, ship port, number, and with the useful string fastened whistle, clothing lamp and reflective belt.

4. Maintenance of personal life lifesaving equipment

1) avoid contact with acid, alkali and other corrosive substances, can not be stored in humid, high temperature, oil scale and other places, can not be pressed, prevent sharp instrument stamp injury, and often check, notice whether the sign and the equipment is normal.

2) need to dry regularly, rinse with fresh water after use, not insolate, immersion suits and Anti-exposure suit in the collection of some talcum powder, and zipper should be coated with wax or no acid oil.

3) it can't be taken or transferred to any other place, nor can it be used as a pillow cushion. It can't be weighed and tied, or it will affect buoyancy.

In a word, the personal lifesaving equipment is one of the key contents of the inspection of the increasingly strict and frequent PSC inspection. It is very important to study and understand the terms of the SOLAS convention, to master the requirements of the inspection, and to check whether the personal life-saving equipment is in a good state of use at any time.

At the same time, the ship company and crew are actively urged to do a good job of daily maintenance and regular inspection, to reduce the blindness of the crew's work and to avoid the related defects in the PSC inspection, so that the individual lifesaving equipment should play a due role in the need.